Category: Technology

Wealth in light of the Apple Watch

The announcement this month of the Apple Watch raises a number of perplexing challenges for Christians. A dominant theme of much commentary has had to do with the top-tier Apple Watch Edition, with options ranging from $10,000 to $17,000. These models feature rare crystal screens and precious metal cases. Apple products have never been cheap, but this new level of luxury represents the company’s recognition of…  [more]

The real virtue of virtual empathy

A recent student project at the University of Southern California is using virtual war in an unfamiliar way.  Rather than glory in combat and explosions, like many blockbuster video games, this program aims to use an immersive recreation of the Syrian civil war to educate players about the experience of being in the middle of such a terrible conflict. We often think of video games as tools for imaginary killing,…  [more]

Why every Christian should care about nuclear disarmament

The Cold War ended decades ago, but since then the global conversation on nuclear weapons has been heating up. Yet the issue of nuclear arms is so complex and its stakes so high that most ordinary citizens are at a loss to formulate reasonably informed opinions. In fact, few outside a small number of specialists are knowledgeable about the topic. This is why the Nuclear Threat Initiative sponsored the attendance of…  [more]

Craig Detweiler on Apple, Google and other “iGods”

Calvin College's January Series is still underway, but organizers were kind enough to share this video of one of the more intriguing talks so far: Craig Detweiler's discussion of "iGods." Based on his book, iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, Detweiler's presentation explored the "big four" entities that dominate our digital existence - Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google - and…  [more]

Wiring the wild: animal exploitation or creation care?

While on a recent trip to India’s Periyar Tiger Reserve, my wife and I were told by our guides that approximately 48 tigers lived in or near the preserve, although sightings are quite rare. How then did they arrive at the number 48? Trail cameras snap motion-activated photos of the cats during their nighttime prowls. We’re getting used to being perpetually on-camera in the human realm. Now we’re…  [more]

Deathswitch: the latest attempt to reach beyond the grave

In the digital era, mortality takes on a new dimension. Consider Deathswitch, which offers users the opportunity to communicate important messages after their death and even the ability to communicate well into the future. Deathswitch checks in with users periodically and, if a specified number of attempts to reach the user go unanswered, the system automatically sends out the user’s pre-written messages to…  [more]

Hacking for the Kingdom?

In an age when net neutrality is under attack, personal information is anything but personal and identity theft is on the rise, “hacktivism” (the practice of hacking an organization’s data pools in order to draw attention to a social or political issue or gain information to advance such a cause) presents itself as a force for good on the Internet. Perhaps most famously among the hacktivists is the…  [more]

Three-parent babies? Let’s not forget about begetting

Every few months, a story pops up about a new frontier in reproductive medical technologies: so-called “three-parent IVF.” NPR recently reported on efforts in Britain to allow embryos created via this technique to be transferred into women’s uteruses, while a New York Times Magazine cover article last summer focused on whether the Federal  Drug Administration would approve human clinical…  [more]

Interstellar and a theology of Imax

Interstellar left me wanting in many respects, but the movie does come through in one big way. Very big. The use of large-screen Imax imagery not only nearly saves the picture, it also reveals some of the theological implications at the heart of this particular piece of movie technology. Co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises), Interstellar includes sequences and individual…  [more]

Samaritans Radar, suicide prevention and the limits of social networking

When the suicide-prevention organization Samaritans launched a Twitter app Oct. 29, they called it “an online safety net.” The Samaritans Radar app scans tweets from accounts a user is following, looking for phrases that may indicate a person is at risk for suicide. Once the risk is identified, the app alerts the subscriber via email, sharing the cause for concern and suggestions for reaching out and…  [more]

See the latest in: